Your Commander has just finished reading a wonderful little book (287 pages) that should scare the hell out of every American citizen, because it exposes in detail the depth of corruption that has consumed the State government in New Jersey. I used to feel that my home State of Illinois was the most corrupt government in the country, but I am now convinced that the politicians in Illinois are amateurs.
THE SOPRANO STATE – New Jersey’s Culture of Corruption by Bob Ingle and Sandy McClure exposes the appalling state of corruption that causes huge tax obligations to its citizens. In New Jersey the number of government workers is 81 per square mile compared to 6 government workers per square mile in the rest of the country. The State government employs 154,500 workers and local government has a staggering 444,000 workers. Just consider the impact they have on elections and the cost to taxpayers.
Quoting from page #4, “New Jersey has 566 municipal governments and 616 school districts, some of which don’t have students but collect millions of dollars in local taxes and state aid and have paid administrations.” Amazing, but true! New Jersey voters keep electing the same corrupt officials.
In the Garden State the local joke is, “What is the definition of a judge? A lawyer who knows a politician.” Corruption rules the day in New Jersey and local politicians promote home rule, but New Jersey citizens have less control than citizens have in the rest of the country. The overlapping layers of government are placing an excessive tax burden on the taxpayers of the State.
In my home State of Indiana there was a very expensive study conducted that called for the elimination of duplicate government functions, but little or nothing has been done to bring about the appropriate savings, because local politicians would lose their inflated salaries and huge under-funded pension positions. Based upon reading this book it is apparent that New Jersey’s situation is really disgusting and in need of honest new government.
Obviously, first year Governor Chris Christy has a huge job on his hands. Let us hope he can turn things around and his action will bring vital honest improvements to other State governments, too.